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West Vail Trees

  3.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


1.1 mile 1.8 kilometer point to point
Ski Line


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -1,782' -543 m
High: 9,972' 3,039 m
Low: 8,190' 2,496 m


Avg Slope: 31% (17°)
Max Slope: 51% (27°)
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Trail shared by Nick Wilder

A fun adventure in big snow years.

Nick Wilder
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Need to Know

There is a cliff near the top (marked on the map) that is very wide and hard to get around. With a ton of powder, you can pillow drop it, but it's mostly about 30' tall, so that's not really recommended.

There is a legal backcountry access gate at the top of the Simba run. Do not cut the Vail boundary rope anywhere else.


This area is a mess of downed trees and big rocks, so it takes a big snow year to fill it in. But when it's "safe," it can be a lot of fun. The trees are dense, and routefinding can be a real adventure!

Once through the backcountry access gate, traverse into the woods a ways. If you go 100-300 yards, you'll be set up for the best fall line. Trees are tight everywhere and you might not be able to link a ton of turns.

A short ways down you'll have to navigate a cliff that goes a long way in both directions. Going right will eventually let you down at an easy grade but it sets you up for a less good fall line from there. Going left works as well, though you end up in a flat spot you have to walk out of. If the snow is deep, and you really know what you're doing, you can pillow drop the cliff (it's fairly broken).

Past the cliff, the skiing is pure joy in the widely-spaced aspens for a long ways. This can be quite fantastic under the right conditions.

As you near the bottom, you'll see many houses. Follow the right side of the creek (probably with a lot of tracks) and you can emerge onto the road without getting close to private property. Cross the road, cross the public park, and you'll be right near the Matterhorn bus station (to the right). The free bus will take you back to Vail.

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Little aspens in West Vail Trees
Feb 6, 2015 near Vail, CO
Deep snow in the lower West Vail Trees
Feb 6, 2015 near Vail, CO
Steep little section
Feb 6, 2015 near Vail, CO


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